Guide sheet for Writing a Book Report Essay Introduction Paragraph: Goes from very general to specific Sentence 1



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Guide sheet for Writing a Book Report Essay

Introduction Paragraph: Goes from very general to specific

Sentence 1: This is the Topic Sentence (TS). The Topic Sentence is a general sentence that can be used by anyone’s book report, regardless of the book that was chosen. Go back to the Task Sheet. Find the general statement that frames the entire assignment. This is the task’s topic sentence. Yours will be similar. Reword the topic sentence from the task. (You might want to reword it two or three times to use later.)

Sentence 2: The Title/Author sentence. This is the sentence that mentions the title and author. You might mention the character if the character plays an important part in your essay. (Example: In The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender, we meet the character Riva.) If there isn’t a character that you will use in your essay, mention the situation you will be discussing. (Example: In The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender, the time in which the story happens plays an important part in the development of the story.)

Sentence 3-4: This is the summary. Write a brief plot summary of no more than two sentences framing the story. This will give your reader a frame of reference so that he/she understands the main idea of the book.

Sentence 5: This is the Controlling Idea (CI) or Thesis sentence. This tells the reader what you will prove. (Never Ever say something like: In this essay, I will show…prove…etc) The thesis or Controlling Idea sentence relates to the topic sentence, but is very specific to the book you are discussing. (Example: Riva displays incredible courage throughout the entire story.) You will use THREE different examples, one in each subsequent paragraph, that show whatever you said you will prove. (For the example, we have been using The Cage, so we will use three different instances that show Riva’s courage.)

Paragraph 2:

This is one example to prove your thesis. You must use a specific incident or details to show or explain the example to the reader. This paragraph should be at least 4-5 sentences long. (Example: One example when Riva was courageous was…..)



Paragraph 3:

This is another example to prove your thesis. You must use a specific incident or details to show or explain the example to the reader. This paragraph should be at least 4-5 sentences long. (Example: Another time Riva was courageous was when….)



Paragraph 4:

This is a third example to prove your thesis. You must use a specific incident or details to show or explain the example to the reader. This paragraph should be at least 4-5 sentences long. (Example: Riva also showed her courage when….)



Clincher Paragraph: Goes from very specific to general

Sentence 1: This is very similar to the Controlling Idea sentence. It is specific to the book and story. It is the bridge to a more general idea. Try rewording the CI sentence or use one of the sentences you reworded earlier) relating to what you have shown in your essay.

Sentence 2: This is a more general sentence. This is a conclusion about what you have said. (NEVER EVER say something like: As you can see….I have shown…It is clear….or any other NEVER EVER word combination!)

Last sentence of the Clincher Paragraph: This is the “bow on the package”. Leave the reader with something to think about. My favorite type of clincher is a theme sentence based on your essay.

Revise the draft and make changes that need to be made.

Have you used specific examples and details to prove what you needed to?

Have you fulfilled the task?

Is your closing paragraph leading to a higher level of thinking instead of back to the beginning?

Did you use any Never evers? (If yes, GET RID OF THEM!!!!)


Correct any spelling, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and usage mistakes.
Rewrite the corrected draft.
Reread the “final draft”. Correct anything that needs to be corrected.
Submit the essay on time!!!


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